QUINCY, Ill. — Driven from their homes in Missouri, threatened with extermination and deprived of their possessions, the Latter-day Saints of 1839 found a kind reception across the Mississippi River in the city of Quincy, where a standing committee of citizens was appointed to relieve the destitute, allay prejudices and procure employment for the distressed Church members. The assistance gave the Church members the stability they needed to found the city of Nauvoo that year.
This year, on June 28 — the day after the reconstructed Nauvoo Illinois Temple is dedicated in the first session — the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will present a benefit concert in Quincy in grateful remembrance of the kindness shown 163 years earlier.
The Quincy-Herald Whig, a newspaper that existed at the time the Latter-day Saints arrived in Quincy in 1839, is co-sponsoring the concert.
An announcement on the newspaper's Internet site — www.whig.com — indicates the concert is "commemorating the generosity of Quincyans shown to the early members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" and gives the time of the concert as Friday, June 28, at 8 p.m. in the Morrison Theater of Quincy Junior High School, 15th and Main.
Proceeds will benefit the Quincy Area Community Foundation. A staff member at the newspaper said June 11 that tickets for the concert are sold out. Unfilled orders received in the mail are being returned.
Craig Jessop, music director of the Tabernacle Choir, said that choir members and officers wanted to present the concert as "our expression of thanks to the citizens of Quincy for their ancestors' hospitality and charity when the saints were driven out of Missouri into Illinois looking for refuge."